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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
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C1/D Visa Questions

The C1/D visa falls under the non-immigrant visa section. It is only given to ship or airline crewmembers who don’t have U.S. passports to enter and exit the country. This visa can be issued either to individual crew members or the whole crew at one time. As per immigration law, C1/D visa holders need to enter and leave the country on board the same airline or vessel.

Listed below are a few questions answered by immigration lawyers on C1/D visa related issues.

Can a C1-D visa holder get a student visa in the United States?

Unfortunately, a C1-D visa holder will not be able to apply for any other visa. He/she must return home to apply for a different visa.

I am a C1-D visa holder who married a U.S. citizen. Can I change my status in the United States?

It is not possible for a C1-D visa holder to change status in the U.S. If you are sponsored by your spouse, you would have to return to your country for an immigrant interview and could be subject to a 3-10 year bar to return to the U.S.

I entered the country on a C1-D visa and later quit my job and went to Philadelphia. My new boss wants to be my sponsor and I want to know if this is possible.

Even if your employer wants to sponsor you as an employee, you would have to go back to your country and apply for an immigrant visa. You cannot adjust your status while remaining in the United States now. If you stay in the U.S. for more than 180 days out of status, your departure would trigger a 3-year ban from re-entering the U.S. If you over stay by a year, you could be banned for 10 years.

Is it possible for me to use my C1-D visa for transit via the U.S. while not on duty?

No. You can only use this visa as a passenger to join a vessel or an aircraft. If you get caught doing otherwise, you could get deported and barred from entering the U.S. for ten years.

As a C1-D visa holder, how can I get a Green Card?

It is not possible to adjust your status in the United States if you entered the country as a crew member.

There are, however, five ways to live permanently in the U.S. These are through family, employment, asylum, investment, or a lottery. They are explained below.
  1. 1. Family – In order to come immediately, you would have to be sponsored by immediate family like a spouse who is a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Citizen’s children who are over 21 years of age. In comparison, it would probably take between 4 -12 years to come if you are sponsored by a U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident parents, siblings who are U.S. Citizens, or a spouse who is a Lawful Permanent Resident.
  2. 2. Employment – You would need to prove you would not be taking away a job from a U.S. worker. The less experience and education qualifications you have, the harder this is to prove.
  3. 3. Asylum – You would need to prove you could be persecuted, tortured, or killed if you go back to your home country and that this could happen to you based on your race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. You cannot claim asylum because you run the risk of falling victim to a crime or bad economic conditions, just as anyone in your country might.
  4. 4. Investment – This could amount to around $1,000,000 for residency, or $100,000 to $200,000 to begin for a temporary visa.
  5. 5. Lottery – This is difficult as you would be competing to win one of the 50,000 visas available per year.

C1/D visas can also be given to passengers who are going to the U.S. to join a commercial aircraft or ship. However, C1/D visa holders who are crew members cannot work on domestic flights or movements of a vessel within domestic territory. They can perform their duties only on stopovers for international flights when this kind of flight has only one aircraft which leaves from and stops at a location outside the United States.

Ask an Immigration Lawyer

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 34505
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
9200179
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
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3 Immigration Lawyers are Online Now

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Recent D visa Questions

  • I have 3 DUI convictions 2 of them back in 1984 and the third

    I have 3 DUI convictions 2 of them back in 1984 and the third in 2010, Also I have have been married 2 times and ended up in divorce. My second marriage was with a filipina who i sponsored from the Philipines. our divorce was final in July 2014, will this effect my I-129F petition and my new fiances K-1 visa being approved. She is from Main Land China
    Sincerely
    John
  • Immigration Question... I am a US Citizen, deployed to the

    Immigration Question...
    I am a US Citizen, deployed to the Middle East on a Letter of Authorization (LOA) issued by the U.S. Army with a deployment end date in 2016. My wife who is a green card holder (CR1) has accompanied me overseas. I am a contract employee with a U.S. company on contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.
    My wife received her CR1 status in April 2014 when she entered the US. We will be married 2 years in December 2014. Our residence is in the U.S., we jointly own a U.S. company, have filed joint U.S tax returns for 2012 and 2013 and will file a joint tax return for 2014. In addition, we have joint bank accounts in the U.S.
    When we returned to the U.S. In late April 2014, we fully intended to stay since my overseas contract had ended and we were starting a new business in the U.S. However, soon after we returned to the U.S. and my wife received her CR1, I received a contract renewal for an assignment overseas. To,accept, I had to be back in the Middle East within 10 days. My wife came with me so we both live outside the U.S. temporarily until my job with a U.S. Company on US government is complete.
    I need to stay in the Middle East until my contact is over and my wife cannot go back to the U.S. by her self. We are planning to return to the U S in January 2016.
    We will apply to remove her conditional status in 2016.
    I contacted the US embassy/consul about a Returning Resident (SB-1) application. The US State Department Web Site says:
    1. “A provision exists under U.S. visa law for the issuance of a returning resident special immigrant visa to an LPR who remained outside the United States due to circumstances beyond his/her control. “The US Department of State form “APPLICATION TO DETERMINE RETURNING RESIDENT STATUS” states that an example of proof that a protracted stay was for reasons beyond the applicant’s control is “accompanying a U.S. citizen spouse”.
    2. “If you are an LPR unable to return to the United States within the travel validity period of the green card (1 year) you may be eligible and can apply at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa.
    3. “If you are the spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or of a civilian employee of the U.S. government stationed abroad on official orders, you may use your Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551, to enter the United States even if it has expired. Therefore, you would not need a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa”
    It appears from the information above that my wife can stay with me in Kuwait and does not need to “return to the United States within the travel validity period of the green card (1 year)”. In addition, she does not need the SB-1 Visa. She can use her Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551, to enter the United States even if it has expired.
    Is this correct?
    The embassy/consulate response was - "note that the administration of green cards is the responsibility of DHS/USCIS. The Embassy has no role in this process." According to what I have been told an read we cannot apply for a Reentry permit since she is not in the U.S.
    What do we need to do so we do not jeopardize my wife's green card status?
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    I got REF for extension of my TN application regarding evaluation of degree. I have Bachelor of Commerce from India and over 8 years accountant Canadian and American experience. FIS evaluated my degree as Bachelor of Accounting substitute with experience. Is that going to work out. If you think it is going to work out I like to hand over case to you. CCI evaluator also ready to give me Bachelor of Business Administration based on my education. I got number of times TN. Right now I am on TN as an Accountant. Thanks in advance for answer.
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